Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fashion.. from a 9 year old deaf boy

Following a showcase of his collection, 9 year old Rafi earned a standing ovation during Jakarta Fashion Week in November when he stepped onto the catwalk. His full name is Rafi Abdurrahman Ridwan and he is Indonesia’s youngest Fashion Designer. Rafi lost his hearing at the age of three months and has suffered from respiratory tract infections since his birth. His parents, Shinta and Mohammad Ridwan, were warned by their doctor that Rafi would likely have birth defeats and health issues. He suggested they consider an abortion. But the couple continued with the pregnancy because of their religious beliefs. Rafi was born and he attended a school for the deaf in Santi Rama. On his own, he developed an obsession for drawing. Rafi attended a fashion show at the age of five, which convinced him that he wanted to become a designer. It was at another show he met Indonesian designer Barli Asmara, who saw potential in Rafi's detailed and colorful sketches. Asmara has mentored Rafi since that time, helping him to fulfill his dream of holding his own fashion show for his 9th birthday. Its success led to an invitation to take part in Jakarta Fashion Week. Just a few months before the event, he had cochlear implant surgery. The family has chosen not to use sign language. Instead, Rafi's mom taught him lip read. Below is a video of Rafi and his work.